ASI - Agenzia Spaziale Italiana - News ASI - Agenzia Spaziale Italiana - News
SATURN'S MOON

Dione, portrait with crater

Saturn's moon poses for Cassini lens. Creusa crater and its rays in foreground

When viewed from a distance with the sun directly behind Cassini, the larger, brighter craters really stand out on moons like Dione.  

Among these larger craters, some leave bright ray patterns across the moon, calling attention to their existence and to the violence of their creation.  

The rayed crater seen here on Dione (1.123 kilometers across) is named Creusa. The rays are brighter material blasted out by the impact that formed the crater. Scientists can use the patterns of ejecta (like these rays), to help determine the order of geological events on a moon's surface by examining which features lie on top of other features.  

This view looks toward the Saturn-facing side of Dione. North on Dione is up and rotated 31 degrees to the right. The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on Nov. 26, 2016 using a spectral filter which preferentially admits wavelengths of near-infrared light centered at 727 nanometers.  

The view was obtained at a distance of approximately 560.000 kilometers from Dione. Image scale is 3 kilometers per pixel.  



Cassini (Credits: NASA) The Cassini mission is a cooperative project of NASAESA (the European Space Agency) and the Italian Space Agency

ASI is one of the partners of the Cassini mission: on the basis of a cooperation agreement with NASA it has developed for Cassini the high gain antenna with the incorporation of a low-gain antenna (that ensure telecommunications with the Earth for the entire duration of the mission), the VIMS spectrometer, the radio-science subsystem (RSIS) and the radar which also uses the high-gain antenna.

ASI has also developed for the Huygens spacecraft the HASI instrument which measured the physical properties of the atmosphere and Titan's surface.